So here’s a question

So here’s a question: Just how weird and off-message and defensive would Donald Trump have needed to be before his supporters felt that he had “lost” the debate?

There were so many topics in his campaign’s playbook he could have used to attack Hillary Clinton on, and he used pretty much none of them. Instead, he let her make the debate a referendum on him, time and again. There were so many moments when he simply lost the thread. Here are just a few.

When reminded of his various on-the-record “climate change is a hoax” statements, he claimed he’d never said them. When asked why he had continued to publicly tout the “birther” conspiracy between 2012 and 2016, he just replied that no one was caring much about it. Do you understand that answer? Does anybody?

When called by Clinton on all the nasty things he has publicly said about women, he didn’t deny it — he just defended himself by claiming those statements were all about Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, um, really???

He also seemed sincerely unaware of NATO’s decades-long history of antiterrorism programs. His assertion that NATO only started doing something about terrorism after he’d personally suggested it was so outright nutty that it was almost charming.

And just when I figured things couldn’t get weirder, Trump started brazenly touting his new hotel, right in the middle of the debate. You can’t make this stuff up.

So I wonder, what would Donald Trump have needed to do for his supporters to think he had lost? Literally pull down his pants?

5 thoughts on “So here’s a question”

  1. This election started making more sense to me once I once I realized that little superfluous details like “what Donald Trump actually believes” have very little to do with his popularity. Support of Donald Trump is a religious affiliation, not a political one, and Trump supporters care about Donald Trump’s actions as a human being in much the same way that Catholics care about the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests of the church. That is to say, pretty much nothing that actually happens is likely to cause them to convert to Protestantism, or into voting for Clinton, for much the same reasons.

  2. Yes, I think Yeats said it well in his poem The Second Coming:

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  3. There is nothing he could do for his supporters to think he had lost. The more “loser” he acts in rational terms for the rest of us, the more support he garners with his supporters. It’s an odd paradox.

  4. So apparently Beavis and Butthead were simply ahead of their time. If only they had come 20 years later, by now they would rule the world.

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